Over cocktails an executive describes to a friend the disturbing history of a strangely potent guardian angel. A young mom tries to perfect and prolong her daughter’s childhood with obsessive parenting. A critic’s petty denouncement of an ingénue’s performance leads to a theatrical night of reckoning. A cult member makes nice for a parole board hearing years after committing an infamous crime.
A multiple Shirley Jackson Award nominee, S.P. Miskowski serves up an uncompromising collection of thirteen modern tales of desire and self-destruction. Strange is the Night offers further proof that Miskowski is—as Black Static book reviewer Peter Tennant notes—“one of the most interesting and original writers to emerge in recent years.”
These 13 eerie stories (of which 10 are reprints) by rising star Miskowski (I Wish I Was like You) will thrill fans of clever horror. In "Ms. X Regrets Everything," a middle-aged woman at her parole hearing remembers a life wasted, drowned in blood, despair, and depravity. "Strange Is the Night" imagines the well-deserved fate of a cynical, caddish theater critic who attends a very strange stage production. The melancholy "The Second Floor" is about a successful playwright who revisits the Seattle home she shared with three others 18 years before, recalling the heartbreak and hope that resided there. "Animal House" and "Fur" explore animalistic tendencies. The heartrending, Kafkaesque "Stag in Flight" mines the unhappy, insular world of a mentally ill man and his ultimate release from it. Every story showcases Miskowski's versatility and gift with prose and taps into a dark, writhing undercurrent of palpable unease beneath the mundanity of everyday life. Uncanny and quietly menacing, these stories will transport readers, inviting them with crooked finger to confront, and even embrace, the shadowed corners of their own psyches.